1st class sequence
Meditation: Metta – Lovingkindness
The brahma viharas are the 4 sublime states or boundless states of consciousness. They are the answers to all situations that arise from social interactions: they can remove tension, bring peace, heal wounds, remove social barriers, promote unity, remove ego. The brahma viharas include: metta (lovingkindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy), and upekkha (equanimity).
So, lovingkindness is a sense of love not bound by desire. It accepts things as they are and realizes the interconnectedness of all things. With it, we replace the effects of recognizing the divisions; individual separateness causes fear, isolation, loneliness, and despair about the world and how we fit in it. We don’t know our places, and we don’t feel grounded or safe, so we put up fences around our individual selves…and this only makes things more complicated. Metta sees the necessity of being connected with the rest of humanity. It tears down fences and borders and makes the world safer.
With metta, we can fully accept ourselves and others, perceived faults and all, when we don’t discriminate between the parts – good and bad – of others and ourselves, and in doing so, we defeat the tendency to see ourselves as lacking or broken and we lose the negativity in our thoughts that create turbulence in our minds.
Choose in this practice, and act of sending lovingkindness to yourself. Yes, yourself. We go through life beating ourselves up. If we are supposed to love others, we have to love ourselves, too. It’s like being on a plane and the oxygen masks falling: the pilot always says to place the oxygen mask on your face before helping others. The same goes with love. You cannot fully love others if you do not love yourself. It is not selfish to love yourself. It is necessary if we are to save others each day. Dedicate this small bit of time to yourself. Love yourself, and when you are done, you will be better equipped to give that love to others.
Start seated (sukhasana): breathing, centering – 10 big ujjayi breaths
Child’s pose (balasana): 5 breaths
Cat-cow: 5 breaths
Downward dog (Adho mukha svanasana): 5 breaths
Cheetah with right leg x3, then step to low lunge twist with left hand down right hand up 3 breaths (back knee can be lifted or on the ground)
Downward dog: 1 breath
Cheetah with left leg x3, then step to low lunge twist with right hand down, left hand up 3 breaths (back knee can be lifted or on the ground)
After 3rd breath in twisting lunge, step back foot forward and fold
Standing forward fold (uttanasana): 5 breaths with knees slightly bent
Half-way lift (ardha uttanasana) and fold (uttanasana) 3 times, then sweep hands over head to stand
Mountain pose (tadasana): 5 breaths
Sun salutations A – 4 times: start in tadasana, breathe in and sweep hands over head, breathe out and fold forward, inhale to halfway lift, exhale to step back to downward dog, inhale forward to plank, exhale chaturanga, inhale upward dog, exhale downward dog. Stay in downward dog 3-5 breaths. Look forward: inhale step forward, exhale fold, inhale halfway lift, exhale fold, inhale sweep hands to stand, exhale hands to heart. Repeat.
Sun salutations B – 2 times: start in tadasana, breathe in and sweep hands over head, breathe out and fold forward, inhale to halfway lift, exhale to step back to downward dog, inhale forward to plank, exhale chaturanga, inhale upward dog, exhale downward dog, inhale right leg lifts, exhale step right foot forward to lunge, inhale sweep hands to crescent lunge, exhale down to chaturanga, inhale upward dog, exhale downward dog, inhale left leg lifts, exhale left foot steps to lunge, inhale hands up to crescent lunge, exhale to chaturanga, inhale upward dog, exhale downward dog. 3-5 breaths. Look forward: inhale step forward, exhale fold, inhale halfway lift, exhale fold, inhale sweep hands to stand, exhale hands to heart. Repeat.
Standing forward fold sequence: 1- wrap index fingers around big toes 5 breaths 2- hands under feet (toes kiss wrists) 5 breaths 3- wrap arms around legs 5 breaths
Tadasana 3 breaths
Vinyasa to downward dog
Standing sequence (start right then go left): Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II) 5 breaths; Side angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana) 5 breaths; Triangle (Trikonasana) 5 breaths; Prasarita 5 breaths; vinyasa to downward dog to switch sides
Vrksasana 5 breaths (right then left)
Malasana 5 breaths
Navasana 5 breaths
Bridge (1-3 times) 5 breaths each (can do wheel if you want)
Supta baddhokonasana (butterfly reclined)
Spinal rolls to downward dog
Half pigeon right then left
Seated forward folds: janusirsasana right then left (alternate drawing one foot to the inside of the opposite thigh) 5 breaths each; paschimottanasana (both legs extended) 5 breaths
Savasana (5 minutes)